The next generation of designers & engineers - Start them young!

Published on: 30th July 2018

The growing skills gap and the lack of diversity in design and engineering has encouraged DCA to engage with education institutions to promote these subjects to a wider audience. In one example, over the last two months designers at DCA have spoken about their experiences of working in design at several local primary schools.

DCA believes that engaging with children as young as 5-11 years of age is an important opportunity to ‘plant the seed’ for an open-minded approach to career choices in later life. Indeed, while these children might not decide on their career path until much later, their frames of reference are starting to build already.

Feared by some of us as the toughest audience to engage with because of their short attention span and limited background knowledge, the youngest listeners proved to be the most receptive. Their inquisitive nature and unrestrained enthusiasm were infectious, and their unexpected questions revealed a strong drive to understand how things work and how they can be made. For instance, when put to the test in a toothbrush design exercise, some of the children in the Foundation class at Brookhurst Primary in Leamington Spa demonstrated strong design skills, and showed how design and engineering can appeal to a wide range of people.

These sessions have reinforced our belief that creativity is an innate quality which families and education institutions should nurture – and one that we believe will be defining in the future world of work.